Saturday, March 02, 2013

Supreme Court Overturns Spanish City's Ban On Burqas

Lleida (aka Lérida), in Catalonia, Spain, is approximately 20% Muslim. It's the same city that in 2011 was having a problem with dogs turning up poisoned.  Lérida was also the first town in Spain to ban the full face veil (burqa and niqab) in public buildings, in 2010. But only a few short years later, the ban was just reversed by Spain's Supreme Court:

.... citing religious freedom and saying the city’s argument of security concerns was unfounded.
In its ruling, dated Feb. 14 and made public on Thursday, the court said the ban could increase discrimination, rather than help eliminate it, as it may force some women to stay at home and therefore not integrate at all into Spanish society.
The city, known as Lleida in the Catalan language and Lerida in Spanish, had argued that immigrants would struggle to integrate if they used the veil. The city also said the custom would disturb the local culture and create security problems.

The Watani Liberty and Justice Association has been lobbying for 3 years to lift the ban, and it looks like they finally prevailed.

I have said this many times, but there is no place for the full face veil in Western lands. Women who wear burqas or niqabs aren't about to integrate into Western society anyway.  And according to some religious authorities in the Muslim world, the veil is not even a necessity.  Saudi cleric Sheikh Ahmed Bin Qassim al-Ghamdi claims woman need not cover the face or arms, and an Al-Azhar scholar, Sheikh Mustapha Mohamed Rashedat, actually said the hijab is not an Islamic duty since it's not even mentioned in the Quran.

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